Adairsville defeated Dalton Thursday night at Adairsville High by a score of 34-28, but looked much better than that as the Tigers won the first half by a score of 20-6 when the varsity team was in.
“We had a good night,” first-year head coach Eric Bishop said of his team. “We needed this to go against somebody else when things are less predictable.”
Bishop was especially proud of his defense, which allowed just six points and 112 yards in the first half.
“I’m proud of our defense tonight,” he said. “Our tackling was better and we were all running to the football. Our third down defense also was much better tonight.”
The offense had its way with Dalton as well. The Tigers scored three touchdowns on their five first-half possessions.
Bishop’s squad forced a three-and-out on the Catamounts’ first possession.
Adairsville then scored on a methodical 15-play drive on its first possession. The drive was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by Sidnee Johnson on an option play to the right. The touchdown came just six minutes into the game.
Adairsville scored again on its third possession, but a little quicker this time as junior quarterback Marcus Childers broke off a 99-yard scramble for a touchdown. The run was originally designed as a pass play, but after the pocket broke down, Childers scrambled to avoid the safety. The scramble involved several jukes and cuts to avoid Dalton defenders before creating some separation in the open field.
“It was supposed to be a pass play, but I saw an opening and ran,” Childers said. “I got a little tired by the 40-yard line.”
“It was good to see him run in the open field,” Bishop said. “We had some mistakes that led to that play, but we’ll work on them.”
At the end of the first half, each team was given 90 seconds to run its hurry-up offense. Both teams were able to score within the allotted time and the Tigers looked impressive offensively.
It took them under 70 seconds to go 60 yards for the touchdown, capped by an impressive touchdown run from senior Austin Harris. Harris dodged five Dalton players in the Adairsville backfield before scoring from the 1-yard line.
Harris had 25 yards on two carries in the game.
Johnson also chipped in with 70 yards on 12 carries. The Tigers had 224 rushing yards in the varsity half.
Childers had an outstanding game himself with five carries for 124 yards. He also went 5-11 throwing the ball for 51 yards.
“We played pretty well, but there’s some things we still need to work on like reads and the pass protection and stuff like that,” Childers said.
Senior tailback Tristin Smith was held out of Thursday’s scrimmage for precautionary reasons due to a hamstring injury. He should only make the Tigers’ running attack stronger.